There is currently a shortage of myxomatosis vaccine throughout the UK but Dunfermline-based Inglis Veterinary Centres have secured a supply that could allow them to offer protection to up to 100 rabbits.
Inglis is to hold special rabbit clinics at its 24-hour animal hospital in Halbeath Road, Dunfermline, on 26th April and at its Alphavet clinic in High Street, Kinross, the following day.
Head veterinary surgeon, Graeme Eckford, explained, “The myxomatosis vaccine that we normally use is no longer on the market, leading to a nationwide shortage. However, vaccines are available in France but only a limited supply is available to us.
“Thankfully, we have secured four 50-dose vials of this vaccine. The downside is that, once a vial has been opened, it is valid for use for only a few hours. We therefore have four-hour windows in which we can vaccinate up to 50 rabbits at a time, and hope that owners take the opportunity to come along to our clinics and protect their pets.”
The clinics will be taking place on 26th April at the Inglis Vets Hospital and 27th April at Alphavet in Kinross.
Inglis will also use the clinics as an opportunity to alert rabbit owners to another lethal disease that is causing concern throughout the UK.
Many rabbits may already be vaccinated against Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease but this does not give them protection against a new variation of the disease, known as RVHD2.
There have been sudden deaths of rabbits contracting this variation, but the disease can also linger for up to nine days, increasing the risk of it spreading.
Graeme said, “The vaccine we use to provide protection against myxomatosis also offers protection against Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease but unfortunately not the new RVHD2 virus. A separate vaccination is available and we are happy to discuss this with clients.”
He added, “While we at Inglis have not encountered clinical myxomatosis in recent times, we know it is prevalent in the wild rabbit population and it can spread to pet rabbits. Rabbits with the disease can suffer horribly unpleasant deaths and so I would urge owners not to miss out on this opportunity.
“It's an easy disease to prevent but there is no known treatment, other than palliative care to ease the suffering.”
Graeme said that the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund had a Facebook page that mapped reported cases of RVHD2 but these were only suspected cases reported by the public.
“We have therefore no means of ascertaining its prevalence in our area,” he said. “However, given the wide geographical range of the disease and the reported deaths of hundreds of rabbits throughout the UK, it is something rabbit owners should be aware of.”
Inglis has more than 2,000 rabbits on its books, and the vets believe that no other practice in the country has more, leading to the suggestion that Dunfermline may well be the bunny capital of Scotland.
Even though your pet may be slowing down a little, there’s no reason why the later years in life shouldn’t be some of the most rewarding. With regular veterinary attention, daily care and proper nutrition, your senior pet can still experience a very happy and healthy life.
Throughout the month of March we are offering free nurse appointments for any cat over the age of 8 at our Health and Wellness Centre at 142 Hospital Hill in Dunfermline. All you have to do is fill in this survey and we'll be in touch!
This nurse-led centre offers a relaxed and fun environment which aims to reduce the stress levels of cats. During your visit, the nurse can provide a health exam, blood pressure check, dental check and provide information on any areas of concern such as stiffness, mobility, diet, nutrition and behaviour.
We have taken some of the stresses away from vet visits by developing an environment which is less clinical. A dedicated cat area has been created which allows your feline to feel calmer away from any dogs and a special stairway which leads to the consult table, meaning cats are free to move around of their own accord.
To book an appointment, please call our main surgery on 01383 722818.
We hope to see you soon for your free health check!
On 28 February 2017 a new Avian Influenza Prevention Zone will come into effect in Scotland meaning that, from that date, keepers may let their birds out provided that they have enhanced biosecurity measures in place.
The risk level from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza remains at ‘high’ for wild birds and ‘low to medium’ for domestic birds, so it is essential that all bird keepers continue to ensure that their birds are protected from infection by practising the highest levels of biosecurity.
For more information, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu
At Inglis we have dedicated cat consult rooms